Maritime’s ‘Human Hearts’ reviewed

I sing in the shower. Probably more than most. I’ve probably got a repetoire long enough to do a live set of covers for a small but enthusiastic audience; albiet naked, red, and wet. I’m also quite a music snob when it comes to my shower singing Madison Square Garden show supported by Creedance Clearwater Revival. I’ll only open with classic rock songs of the 70’s for example. I’ll get to the point shall I?

A couple of days ago I heard ‘It’s Casual‘ by Maritime and it’s sneaked it’s way straight in the set without me even knowing. It’s enchanting dirty guitar melodies and emotionally delivered bare hooks must have taken a hold somewhere between ‘Sympathy For The Devil‘ and ‘Bobby Jean‘.

The whole record has a fantastic dirty smear below it’s sweet synthesized pop haze and this is probably best evoked in Paraphanalia, the first single from Maritime‘s 4th album ‘Human Hearts‘ recently realeased through Dangerbird. It’s the musical equivilant of a Morlock snatching an Eloy from it’s utopia. A definite solemn under tone behind a statueesque form.

I mention ‘It’s Casual‘ primarily because of the length and quality of it. This is a band who know not only how to deliver a perfect short prologue to their ten song album but to deliver ten songs that could easily be an enthralling and energetic set in it’s existing order.

Mature and creative, Maritime never get carried away with indulgant mid-song cacophonies nor over complicated guitar lines yet it never feels as if they are holding back. ‘Faint Of Hearts‘ with it’s ‘Shadows‘-like riff and ‘Out Numbering‘ with it’s heart breakingly sweet chorus are both great examples of this quality songsmithery, lieing somewhere between New Order and The Boxer Rebellion but more concise. Maritime say in three minutes what it takes other bands nearly five minutes to get across.

Air Arizona‘ is the prettiest song on the album. Never sounding cheesey or too crowded in sounds, it rises and falls delicately like ascending through a sunset cloud bank, whilst the darker and dirtier ‘Black Bones‘ drifts nervously like a small boat in a storm.

Maritime have a terrifically enduring sound and they will be thoroughly deserving of big venue in the not too distant future. All they would be missing at Madison Square Garden would be a wailing, wet, semi-bearded man singing in the background in the form of me performing guest vocals on ‘It’s Casual‘.


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